Released: 2009, Iron Pegasus Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
The Belgian Taranis, this 2-man band, brings their own spice to this ever-popular black/thrash genre that so many other bands have been flagging somewhat successfully from their part, and on their albums for that matter.
Taranis´ 2nd album, FLANDRIAE, is basically a friendly nod towards bands like Venom, early Bathory and early Running Wild musically (also Finland´s drunken black metal combo Barathrum flips in my mind occasionally). Björn Desmet, who´s behind the creation of Taranis - playing all instruments by himself except drums (that is taken care of by Fynnbrenn Ó Torcklàn), has done quite remarkable work in terms of a solid mastery of all his instruments, creating a beautifully flowing wholeness altogether. The songs on FLANDRIAE, are structurally quite reduced and less technical actually, but they have got lots of hostile atmosphere and sheer malignant power behind them.
Besides that, when Björn knows exactly how to write a catchy, ear-licking song, it´s relatively easy to jump into the pleasant musical journey FLANDRIAE offers to its listeners. For me, it´s songs like "When Death Calls", "Metal Legacy" and "Howling Mountains" that work best for me due to offering some nice and epic atmospheres, accompanied by Björn´s raspy, soaring vocals. One thing, however, that I don´t care too much, is a slight echo he uses in his vocal parts through the whole album. I would be fine without that effect behind Björn´s vocals. Otherwise, Björn - as well as Fynnbrenn behind the drum set, can be happy about this effort, for the achievements that have been able to create together for FLANDRIAE. To cover an old Running Wild song ("Black Demon") for this record, is also a good call from Taranis, I must say.
Nothing mountains-moving on FLANDRIAE, but still a pretty enjoyable album nevertheless. Especially fans of early Bathory and Venom should make a note of this record. ;o)